Tag: design

A Cup Of The Clown's

While out and about this weekend, suffering the same store-based woes faced by many this season, I spent some time trapped in a McDonald’s with two eight year olds. It isn’t the first time I’ve tried my mouth at their coffee, but I’m hoping it will be the last. The reason I bring it up, however, is to discuss something I found odd about the way Ronald goes about dispensing his caffeine.

The fluid itself is terrible, or at least in my opinion, so we won’t bother debating the flavour merits. What IS interesting though, is the sheer level of design they’ve put into delivering their vile clown-juice. The cups are double walled, a feature that saves you from the two-cup or little-ring-thing techniques, and the lid, when compared to the lids offered by other coffee-chuckers, is perfection.

I’m not saying you should check out McD’s brew, but I am saying someone needs to trick a Starbucks executive into holding one of their receptacles.

Tomorrow's Buildings/Today's Heat Rays

This is a fantastic little story about an accident of engineering that I couldn’t pass up, despite the fact that it’s making the rounds pretty vigorously.

Vdara Death Ray

Among the victims is one Bill Pintas, whose tale of woe was recently printed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

[A]fter a brief dip in the hotel pool, he was sunning on a recliner. He was on his stomach, relaxed, eyes closed. But suddenly, the lawyer became so uncomfortably hot that he leaped up to move. He tried to put on his flip-flop sandals but, inexplicably, they were too hot to touch. So he ran barefoot to the shade. “I was effectively being cooked,” Pintas said. “I started running as fast as I could without looking like a lunatic.” Then he smelled an odor, and realized it was coming from his head, where a bit of hair had been scorched. (Via my friend Anycheese, Via engadget, Via BoingBoing)

Never mind that any comic book fan will tell you this is a heat ray and not a death ray, this is exactly the kind of thing we need to be considering as design technology becomes increasingly flexible in its usage.

Who has to live in the shadow of a space elevator? Who  gets to live next to the genetically-modified-animal MegaZoo? How much polution does a floating city put out, and where does it go?

Personally, I’d like to see some of these proposed Choi & Shine Architects’ electrical towers roaming the landscape.
Choi + Shine Architects' Power Pylons

Tea Partyin'

I’m stealing the link to this Teabonics flickr group from Warren Ellis, but it’s just too good not to spread around*:

Repeel Congress

Hey, so what if the guy needs a nap now and then, it's a stressful job.The saddest thing about this, to me at least, is that someone took the time to pencil in some perfectly straight lines before screwing up nearly every other aspect of their sign.

I do not think that means what you think that meansAs you might discern, my favourites are the ones that imply something the sign-holder never intended.

*and all week I’ve had a slowly building cold, which makes it tough to get the brain functioning much beyond work-makes-food.

Top Go Go Putt Putt

As I’ve mentioned previously, we’ve recently plugged the TV back into the feeding tubes. It’s definitely had me thinking about the entertainments I blow time on, and a post earlier today by Warren Ellis – regarding the BBC show Top Gear – reminded me of a thought I wanted to follow through.

First though, Ellis’ statement:

Does it not bother anyone that the most beautifully and ambitiously shot (and soundtracked) programme on BBC television is in fact TOP GEAR? – more

He later adds that he’s a fan of the show, and I should mention that I am as well, but I shouldn’t be. I’m not a big car guy – sure, cars are a neat technology that I appreciate for getting me places, but I couldn’t identify 95% of the cars I pass on the road, nor do I spend Friday nights watching Cannonball Run. Still, if I pass an episode of Top Gear while flipping through the guide, I can’t help but stop.


First a sample to demonstrate:


It’s a four wheeled box, but how can you not take on Jeremy Clarkson’s enthusiasm?

More importantly though: the huge industrial set (watch for the wrecked truck in the background), the kinetic camera movement and editing, the soundtrack, and of course the ridiculously expensive, high speed appliances – everything on the show feels crafted to the hilt – it’s design fetishism, top to bottom.